Politics

Politics
9:01 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Chandler's Presence in Fancy Farm Audience Draws Questions About His Future Plans

While the biggest ticket at every Fancy Farm political picnic is the speaking, the after the picnic chatter revolves around whoever was working the crowd.

One surprise this year was Congressman Ben Chandler, who’s locked into another re-election fight in his Central Kentucky district, miles away from Fancy Farm.

Kentucky Public Radio caught up with Chandler at the grounds, where he said he was just visiting with friends for the weekend.

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Politics
12:00 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Noise and Notes: Carrying CLOUT and Medicaid's Role in State Legislative Races

CLOUT

In the world of grassroots community organizing, few are as confrontational or effective as Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together (CLOUT) at bringing issues to the forefront.

The coalition of churches and neighborhood groups holds an annual call-to-action assembly that gathers over 1,500 residents to discuss and extract policy actions. It is a somewhat controversial event in part because of the assembly's format of calling public officials before the group and demanding a definitive answer on their ideas.

In Louisville, that model has worked with certain leaders such as Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Donna Hargens, who pledged to review the school systems disciplinary policy. But others—namely Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer—feel the style is too rough and they have decided to avoid the group altogether.

I talked with CLOUT Co-President Chris Kolb, about organizing versus protest movements, the growing frustration among residents with elected leaders and whether the organization's style is effective or not.

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Politics
5:45 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

Fancy Farm Speeches Focus on Missing Democrats

The absence of many Democrats gave Republicans plenty of fodder at this year's Fancy Farm Picnic.

Republicans from U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell down to local legislative candidates took shots at state Democrats and President Barack Obama throughout the event.

“And so I think we ought to take a quick attendance check here as we get started. Governor Beshear are you here," McConnell said, with Republicans in the audience responding with a loud “No.”

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Politics
7:00 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Fancy Farm Preview From Kenny Colston

The annual Fancy Farm Picnic in western Kentucky threatens to be a tad dull this year for regular attendees accustomed to fiery political rhetoric and mud-slinging.  The reason:  a curious absence of many prominent politicians.  Most of Kentucky's elected Democrats announced plans to skip this year's picnic, and there will be few prominent Republicans present.

Politics
8:40 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Romney Making Indiana Stop to Campaign for Mourdock

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is scheduled to make a stop in Indiana to campaign for GOP Senate contender Richard Mourdock at a fundraiser.

From the Evansville Courier & Press:

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Politics
2:55 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Fischer Vetoes Landmarks Ordinance

File photo

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has vetoed the contentious landmarks ordinance a week after the Metro Council passed the bill.

The legislation amended several provisions of the four decade old law, and allowed a majority vote in the council to overturn a decision made by the city's landmarks commission. Despite stiff opposition from preservationists and outcry from a handful of lawmakers it passed the council by a 16-7 vote.

In a letter to city lawmakers, Fischer agreed with preservationists, who argued the ordinance politicized the process and violated the separation of powers between the council and mayor's office.

"The positive impacts of our current, nationally recognized landmarks law far outweigh the need to change this four decade precedent for our city," he says. "Additionally, the citizens of Louisville have clearly told me that they fear the landmarks process potentially could be politicized through Metro Council involvement.I cannot support a law that allows a simple majority of the Metro Council to overturn the standards based review of the Landmarks Commission."

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Politics
12:32 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

AARP Will Launch Bus Tour at Fancy Farm

The nation’s leading organization for seniors will use this year's Fancy Farm picnic to launch a nationwide tour to help voters be better informed about Social Security and Medicare.

The goal of the “You’ve Earned a Say” bus tour is to clear up what the AARP calls hype and spin around proposed changes to the nation’s biggest entitlement programs. 

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Politics
8:00 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Yates Confident Mayor Won’t Veto Landmarks Bill

The author of a controversial landmarks ordinance is optimistic that Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will not veto the legislation.

After months of debate, the council voted to change the city’s longstanding process to declare historic sites. But a group of preservationists is urging the mayor to reject the ordinance, arguing that it violates the state constitution and encroaches upon the executive branch’s authority.

Councilman David Yates, D-25, who introduced the measure, says the mayor isn’t likely to veto the law.

"If you veto it then you lose the improved legislation. We hopefully don’t have to go that route and I don’t think that would be his intention. But I can’t speak for him," he says.

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Politics
7:30 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Yarmuth Addresses ORBP Approval

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., addressed final approval of the $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges Project by the federal government.

The Federal Highway Administration announced Wednesday it will allow Kentucky and Indiana to charge motorists a fee to use Interstate-65 (Kennedy Bridge) and the two new spans that are schedule to be built.

Details on tolling are still being worked out, but Yarmuth sidestepped that portion of the press release and rather focused on looking forward to the first phase.

From Yarmuth's office:

"This is the final signature needed from the federal government to begin construction of the Bridges Project," Yarmuth said. "I received personal assurances from Transportation Secretary LaHood and President Obama that the federal approval process would be expedited, and they have followed through on those commitments. Nothing else stands in the way of construction, and I look forward to breaking ground on the East End Bridge later this month."

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Politics
6:08 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Johnson Accused of Trying to Buy Colonial Gardens as City Funds Economic Study

Councilman Dan Johnson

Louisville Metro Councilman David Yates, D-25, is raising ethics concerns about allegations that fellow Councilman Dan Johnson, D-21, made an offer to buy the historic Colonial Gardens property in the midst of a city funded feasibility study.

The council spent $14,000 to study the economic viability of the Iroquois Park corridor—the southwest Louisville neighborhood that contains the property. Five council members, including Johnson and Yates, contributed to the grant from their Neighborhood Development Funds for the non-profit Southwest Dream Team to commission the feasibility study.

In a July 23 letter to Johnson and the county attorney, Yates says constituents have told him that Johnson, who is a real estate agent, is seeking to buy the property and profit from any redevelopment projects.

"My concern lies with the possible ethical implications of what may appear to be an attempt by you as an elected official to profit from the purchase of said property. Let me be clear, I do not have firsthand knowledge, other than your statement, of any wrong doing; nor am I making any allegations that you acted with malice."

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